religious symbols: buddhism, judaism, islam etc

The chair of an All Party Parliamentary Group on 'Global Uncertainties' has praised a new report from the Open University (Religion, Security and Global Uncertainties) which recommends steps to improve real understanding of religion and religious circumstances in a diverse world.

The University team set out to provide guidance on identifying circumstances in which religion is likely to give rise to security challenges, and to scrutinise some of our assumptions relating to religion and security.

C-Aid logo MK2 medium

"Inequalities of power, in the form of radically unequal levels of access to decision-making, process of law, education and civic freedoms, are often described as forms of ‘structural’ violence. This should help us see why inequalities in these areas are so often generators of other sorts of violence.

"The truth is that poverty and a sense of powerlessness are regularly among the major drivers of violence; while violence in turn is a major driver of poverty. So what we must do is recognise the vicious circle here, and ask where and how we break it."

So said Dr Rowan Williams, Chair of Christian Aid, in an inaugural parliamentary lecture to an invited audience at Westminster.  Dr Williams, the last Archbishop of Canterbury, is now a member of the House of Lords.

archbishop welby

Research has been published by Prof. Linda Woodhead of Lancaster University, into the attitudes of Anglicans to faith. Much of the research seems to offer insights for other churches too.

The sizeable poll sample included both churchgoers and many others who simply call themselves Anglicans.

  • Most Anglicans' beliefs are very different from those of their leaders, e.g. re legalisation of same sex marriages and the ordination of women. Churchgoers are just as liberal as the population at large regarding personal morality, whereas their leadership are largely socially conservative.

trussell foodbank stats 2010-14
Trussell: No. given 3 days' emergency food

Leaders of the Methodist Church, Baptist Union of Great Britain and United Reformed Church have responded with concern to the figures released by the Trussell Trust.

As the President of the Methodist has stated, "Hunger should not and need not be a problem in a rich country like the UK - and yet clearly it is. We thank God for foodbanks, which provide a vital lifeline to people who would otherwise be forced to go hungry."

The Trussell Trust highlights static incomes, rising living costs, low pay, underemployment and problems with welfare, especially sanctioning, as significant drivers of the increased demand.

church army

A report by the Church Army of the Anglican Church reports on a survey of the situations where (and, by implication, the reasons why) the Christian Church is alive and well amongst young adults (aged 25-34).  There are pointers here for other churches, such as the Methodist Church.

Survey Findings

  1. Attracting New Young Adult Worshippers: Where churches are managing to reach young adults with no previous church experience - and from a broad socio-economic background - they will more often see these young adults meeting around a dining table rather than in a church building, because the getting together for a meal is very important in creating community.

  2. Retaining Young People into Adulthood: Some larger churches with young adult congregations, gathering for a Sunday service alongside midweek groups, are effectively reaching out to middle class, well-educated young adults who previously attended church as children.

Coming up soon . . .

Tuesday 27 Oct 12.45pm - Tuesday 31 Aug
National, Weekly Prayer Meeting [Online]
Monday 26 Oct 6.00pm - Monday 30 Aug
Circuit Weekly Prayer Meeting
Friday 6 Nov - Sunday 8 Nov
Circuit Weekend Cancelled